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Back home again

The time spent at home went remarkably fast. Steve and Natalie's wedding was a treat on the first weekend, two showings at the Kings Arms pub quiz, the ascent of Kinder Scout, a minor car crash, an evening of eating smelly cheeses and generally spending time with family and friends felt long overdue. More to follow on that.
The September 11th flight back was fine until arriving into heavy thunderstorms in Chicago. After a very fast (air speed) landing, it quickly became apparent that there weren't a huge number of flights leaving the airport. A dutifully made the cross-terminal transfer (always fun) to find that my connection, which would have been missed, was in fact cancelled. Unsurprisingly, once planes started leaving later in the evening, they were rather full. I finally got back to�Seattle 30 hours after I left Manchester. New record. Note to self: Regardless of air transport restrictions, never step on a plane without laptop, phone and credit card. On the plus side, my work inbox filled up a few days into my vacation, so for the first time ever, I came back to very little email to read. I can't really condone this strategy, but it's remarkably effective :)
Balls of Rubber clearly missed me with two consecutive losses in my absence thus installing a trend that, despite my best efforts, continued this week too <g>.
On Friday our group from work went to IslandWood on Bainbridge Island for the United Way Day of Caring. We spent the day clearing English Ivy from some woodland. Hard work but�a nice change from the office job.
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Balls of Rubber 8 - El Short Bus 8

A�fairly�well balanced�game. A win would have been nice though.�No games for a couple of weeks as I'm flying back to Blighty on Tuesday. A solid two week break is going to be great.

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Balls of Rubber 14 - SloRollers 8

underdog kickball logo

Tonight brought the first game of the�fall season of the Thursday night Underdog Kickball League and I've finally got my act together and joined the team. I still suck but will suck less as time goes on. Even though we were a little under-represented today, it was a great game and we walked away with a handsome six point victory. Well done us.


Update: Apparently we won 14-8, not 12-8.

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Folf at White Center

Another gorgeous day in Seattle provided the setting for some folfing in White Center.For the uninitiated (he says, condescendingly, having played only thrice), folf -- frisbee golf -- is a chance to walk around a park hurling a hard disc towards one of eighteen holes. Jolly good fun.

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Real football in Qwest Field

Qwest Field (pka Seahawks Stadium) was packed to capacity with some sixty seven thousand people this evening, no doubt all eager to get a glimpse of David Beckham and watch a good old game of football. The friendly between Real Madrid and DC United was indeed friendly with a few exciting moments and 1-1 draw. The crowd still doesn't quite seem to get the whole singing idea but at least the sport is picking up some interest. Fun stuff.
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Still alive

It's hard to know exactly how to start writing again after a six month break. But I guess one has to start somewhere.
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Today I, like most of Seattle, made the trip to Lake Washington to watch the Blue Angels air show as part of Seafair. The I-90 bridge is closed for a few hours during the show which provides a fabulous viewing platform for the action. I've seen plenty of TV shows about the Blue Angels and their planes, but it's still quite a sight to behold in person. Watching a plane scream overhead into a purely vertical climb really is a marvel of aviation technology. Quite a different experience from a check ride in a Cessna, I imagine.
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Back to it

Day five ended up being a fairly low key affair for me. I was happy to get a few good runs in and finish the trip uninjured before lunch. A final soak in the tub followed by lunch in Dusty's and it was only a couple of hours before we were using up our last loose change in the Longhorn bar. We ate beef stroganoff and finished up the night with a game of poker. Our plans for night-time sledging down to the bar will have to wait until next year.

Dave and I got back to Seattle for lunch (no problems at the border!) and like that, brother was passing through security to board his flight back to London.

Tuesday was a crazy hectic day at work but that was to be expected.

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Whistler, days three and four

Breakfast was somehow forgotten yesterday amidst the excitment of the journey up to the Blackcomb Glacier. The run from the top to the foot of the Excelerator lift is about 7km, with three of those on a cat track curling back around the mountain. We made good time up there (T-bar ride and all) and although there was a lot more snow than last year, it was decidedly icier. But still a great ride. Several runs later and we were all ready to take down lunch. I ate well.
Dave and I peeled away in the afternoon given the day three aches were starting to set in. We met up with Sean and Eric again at the bottom of the mountain and rode the never-ending gondola back up to the top of Whistler. A very leisurely ride back down ended the day nicely. Somehow my mid afternoon nap turned into a whole nights sleep and I missed the late night expedition to Dusty's bar in Creekside.
Well rested and�faring a little better than the rest of the party, breakfast time was upon us. A big eat in Dusty's was the perfect start to day four. I went solo for the morning and although the weekend had brought more people to the mountain, the conditions were much the same and I had a few good rides on Whistler and a quick stop in the village. We all met up for lunch at the top of Blackcomb and then played around in 7th Heaven for a few great runs before heading back to the base. The last ride out via the Dave Murray run seemed like the best we've had; the snow had seemingly melted a fair amount of the top snow and the machines too had done their part. By chance, we all came in together and that brings us to now. I believe an outing to the village is on the horizon.
I posted some more pictures and a couple of videos in the same place,�Snowboarding at Whistler (Feb 2006), including one of�Dave getting some air.